By Aleksandra Vayntraub // SWNS
More than two-thirds of Americans think Thanksgiving dinner leftovers taste better than the original meal, new research suggests.
In a recent survey of 2,000 respondents who celebrate Thanksgiving, nearly seven in 10 said a next-day Thanksgiving sandwich tastes better than that day’s fresh dinner.
Half (49%) agreed that the main course makes the best leftovers — more so than the side dishes (23%).
Where traditional foods are concerned, 62% said that turkey makes the best leftovers, while 46% opted for mashed potatoes and stuffing/dressing.
While 45% cited pumpkin pie as the best for leftovers, 38% also declared that it shouldn’t be eaten any other time except the holidays.
People love their holiday meals so much, 35% usually eat them for five days or more after the initial meal.
However, nearly two-thirds (65%) said they wish they could eat stuffing/dressing more frequently.
Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Stasher bags, the survey also asked respondents about the best ways to repurpose Thanksgiving leftovers into new meals.
Sixty-three percent have created an old-fashioned “leftover” plate out of Turkey Day dishes they didn’t finish, while 38% opted for a “franken-sandwich” or casserole.
Most (72%) usually prepare Thanksgiving dinner with the intention of having leftovers, which may be why 56% believe the holiday is ruined if there isn’t any food left at the end.
Popular ways to revive holiday leftovers included microwaving (64%) and baking (47%).
Half look to their own recipes for inspiration on how to reuse their holiday fare, while 45% rely on their parents/grandparents’ recipes — much more than food-related social media accounts (24%).
Who usually eats the most Thanksgiving leftovers? Forty-two percent pointed the finger at themselves, while 30% named their partner or spouse.
But unfortunately, eight pounds of Thanksgiving leftovers still make their way into the trash can every year.
The reason? Sixty-three percent said they were no longer edible, while 37% admitted they’d forgotten to save them properly.
““Our survey shows that people love — and even prefer — the taste of Thanksgiving leftovers, but don’t always store them properly to reuse them later,” said Hilary McGuigan, senior brand director at Stasher. “As a result, Thanksgiving meals can often result in quite a bit of food waste.”
Nevertheless, 64% said sustainability is important in their Thanksgiving celebration.
One way people are manifesting this is through their holiday menu; respondents said that on average, a quarter of their Thanksgiving leftovers are vegetarian/vegan.
“Making more planet-friendly choices for the holiday is about more than just selecting sustainably-sourced food,” noted Shannon Morgan Stearns, vice president of marketing at Stasher. “There are a variety of products like Stasher bags that help families keep their leftovers longer, reducing not only food waste but also single-use plastic waste that enters landfills and oceans.”
WHAT MAKES THE BEST THANKSGIVING LEFTOVERS?
- Turkey (62%)
- Mashed potatoes (46%)
- Stuffing/dressing (46%)
- Pumpkin pie (45%)
- Apple pie (41%)
- Green bean casserole (37%)
- Rolls (34%)
- Candied yams (33%)
- Gravy (32%)
- Cornbread (29%)
- Cranberry sauce (28%)
UNIQUE WAYS TO USE THANKSGIVING LEFTOVERS
- “Turkey Tetrazzini.”
- “Reprocessing the rest into a barbecue is my favorite way.”
- “With a dish from my country called bollos, and I use the turkey to put it inside bollitos.”
- “Pot pies, soups, sandwiches.”
- “Turning it into a casserole.”
- “One of the easiest ways to repurpose Thanksgiving leftovers is to stuff everything in an avocado and bake it.”
- “Breakfast potato pancakes.”
- “Pizza from the rest of the food.”
- “Made a savory waffle!”
- “Mix all leftover food into a pot and make soup. Or pan fry all mixed food.”
- “In an omelette.”